February 13, 2023
I feel somewhat cheeky for using the above title for this blog post, but the news is exciting to me! No, I’m not announcing the expectancy of my 13th child or announcing a move to a perfect farmhouse with every wish come true (I say all that tongue in cheek), but gratitude fills my heart for fulfillment of God’s gifts to me.
This week I published a unique piece of music, a first for me! The piece is for solo violin and is titled, “Joy on the Journey: Lavender’s Tune.”
Up until now, all of my published works have been either hymn arrangements of well-known hymns or original sacred compositions. But Lavender’s Tune is unique in that it is a completely original, non-sacred work.
Please do not misunderstand me, and for those who already know me know the following, I am passionate about godly, sacred music! But recently, God has stirred in my heart a desire to write beautiful music that pleases Him and brings joy to any listener.
Listeners who do not know the Lord personally may have little to no desire to listen to sacred music, but perhaps they will listen to music that is non-sacred by definition. Perhaps an unsaved listener will hear my music and be drawn to its beauty and even consider listening to some sacred music.
I believe Christian composers (and artists of any kind) have a special perspective on creating because we believe that beauty originates in the Divine; all true beauty comes from God. At times Satan mimics God’s beauty and he also mars God’s beauty, but I seriously wonder if Satan can truly create something beautiful all of his own.
To be blunt, so much of modern art whether in written form, music, or visual arts is just ugly. There’s no pleasing form or predictable repetitions with exciting variations. Paint blobs depict the grotesque inner thoughts of depressed artists, music that grates the ears and weighs the spirit passes for beautiful, and vulgar written works portray the warped thoughts of unsaved authors (I know this because I took an inappropriate class with obscene literature in graduate school that never should have been in a Christian college’s curriculum).
Before this blog post becomes an entire philosophical essay, I believe that Christians should evaluate every single work against the standards of scripture. This is why there is such a hue and cry amongst many Christian circles, particularly homeschooling families, to pursue what is good, true, and beautiful. I believe that evaluating every work against the standards of whether it is good, true, and beautiful is biblical and lines up with what is taught in Philippians 4:8.
Instead of just swallowing what “professionals” call “classics”, we should use our own brains and judge righteously against God’s standards of goodness, truth, and beauty. Does a piece of visual art have an orderliness about it that mimics God’s orderliness? Does a book demonstrate righteous living or dip into sleazy narrative? Does music, whether sacred or non-sacred, lift our hearts in gratitude for God’s goodness or just fuel our base, fleshly desires?
Enough of philosophy, and now a little more about this new piece!
Life is made up of numerous moments, many mundane, some sad, and some joyful. In this mini album I title “Joy on the Journey”, I choose to focus on the joy-filled moments on this journey of life. My aim is to write music that captures the essence of those surreal moments that we sense joy and the fulfillment of why we have life.
Much of modern music is hollow sounding to me and resonates with the dark corners of my soul, hardly up-lifting at all. My goal in writing this series is to present music to my listeners and performers that lifts the heart and brings happiness to the spirit.
This mini album is not sacred in nature, and anyone of any belief can play and enjoy this music. Yet my heart’s desire is for anyone playing this music to sense a difference in this music from the dreary and dark music that focuses on the depths of introversion. By looking inward too long and too hard, darkness comes. When we look outside of ourselves, and most importantly up, at our Creator, we will find joy.
I wrote this music with the performer and the listener in mind, not just as a self-fulfillment of my own thoughts. My goal is to create music that is truly a joy to play and truly a joy to hear.
So why did I choose the title “Lavender’s Tune”? Lavender is one of the most beautiful herbs to me. Visually stunning, this lovely herb calms the senses with its fragrance, and many through the ages and around the globe benefit from its healing capabilities.
One of my goals in writing music is to create a sense of calm for the listeners and even the performers. So much of the world is chaotic, and although we cannot escape the many difficulties that come in life, we can surround ourselves with elements that remind us of God’s goodness and that help us to focus on the blessings in life.
You may have heard of the well-known children’s tune, Lavender’s Blue. Obviously, I was not going to claim that title for my piece, so I was trying to think of another way to incorporate the lovely lavender into my title. Then I thought the word “tune” uses similar sounds to “blue”, and if lavender could sing a song, perhaps this piece would represent lavender’s melody. Thus, “Lavender’s Tune” became the title for my piece.
This series is perfect for personal enjoyment and also perfect to commemorate some of life’s most special moments such as weddings, graduations, recitals, etc. If you play this music at an event, tag me with #ashleyqurollo. I’d love to hear you!
Even if you are not a musician, I hope you will take a few moments to listen to the YouTube video. I have a hunch you will enjoy the music and come away encouraged. Have a blessed week, my dear reading friends!
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